News from Our Abode

Fall Edition / September 2009


Cultivating Collaboration Strengthens Our Communities

A Note from Robin: Cultivating Collaboration Strengthens Our Communities

We are pleased to bring our friends, partners and supporters the second quarterly “News from Our Abode.” In this issue you will learn about recent updates, summer activities enjoyed by our young residents and more about one of our projects in development.

Hope Street Family Center speaks to the power of partnerships and the spirit of collaboration we like to cultivate in all of our work. Collaboration is a common thread among people, businesses and learning organizations that strive to be effective and creative. In our own experience, building bridges and partnerships among individuals, neighborhoods, corporate and nonprofit organizations, can often accomplish so much more than was intended to begin with – as relationships and a sense of community are fostered and human potential is strengthened.

As we develop and sustain our properties and community facilities, we partner across disciplines, industries and cities because we all have a vested interest in ensuring that homes are affordable to all working individuals and families. It’s very simple: We are all in this together.

Robin Hughes
President and CEO of Abode Communities

Abode Communities is honored by the California Community Foundation

On September 16th, Abode Communities was honored (along with 14 other organizations) with the California Community Foundation’s first ever “Unsung Heroes” award, which honors top performing grantees that are doing outstanding work in the greater Los Angeles Community. Calfornia Community Foundation has supported our work for more than 20 years, and we were honored to have received a $140,000 gift from them earlier this year. Noah Wiley, actor and CCF donor, presented Abode Communities with its award which included a gift of $5,000 at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Abode Architecture: Hope Street Family Center

Through a partnership with California Hospital Medical Center, Hope Street Family Center will break ground this November – literally and figuratively. This development is based upon the needs of underserved families in downtown Los Angeles for public recreation space, childcare services, educational opportunities and holistic health programs. Abode Communities is proud to serve as project architect for Hope Street.

Hope Street Family Center is a model community space that merges green, high performance design and construction with resourcefulness and efficient thinking around budget limitations. Our architects and designers always start by thinking of the population’s needs and how to enhance community facilities to be:

  • Vibrant
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Energy Efficient
  • Environmentally Responsible

Abode Architecture is recognized as an industry leader in green, energy-efficient design and construction. For Hope Street Family Center, the “green building” features include LEED certification, a building orientation that remains sensitive to the sun’s movement, energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, proximity to a dense transit node, and water efficient landscaping with native plants. Of the materials and resources used:

  • 10 percent are extracted, processed and manufactured regionally
  • 20 percent are post-consumer recycled content
  • And incredibly, 75 percent of construction waste is diverted from disposal!

Completion of Hope Street Family Center is expected in the winter of 2010. The result will be a beautiful and green-friendly community space that will engage a wide array of partners to offer a continuum of health care, mental health, early childhood education, adult education, high school, family literacy, and social services that support families from birth through adulthood.

Resident Spotlight: A Memorable Summer for Our Youth

Our wonderful services coordinators look for partners and programs to engage young people year-round. With school out for the summer, the learning continued with fun, hands-on activities.

This year, the City of Long Beach invited youth from Grisham Community Housing to participate in its five-week Youth Ambassadors Art Camp. Modeled on the educational approach of Paulo Freire, the program fosters a culture of peace and active citizenship among young people to help them to fulfill their potential by providing access to sports, and artistic and cultural activities. After instruction in photography, painting, video and sculpture, the participants’ art was featured at public Arts Celebration for their families and community to enjoy.

For four years, the Pythian Youth Foundation has taken Abode Communities children camping in Sequoia National Forest. The camp for 9 to 11-year-olds teaches arts, crafts, campground know-how and team building at the Pythian Youth Foundation’s 19-acre campground. This year, 80 children from our communities in Signal Hill, Long Beach, Wilmington and the San Fernando Valley had the opportunity to experience their first train ride on their journey to the campgrounds.

The Art Camp and celebration were made possible through the collaboration of the Youth Ambassadors program, California State University Long Beach, Department of Art; Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, 4th District; The Long Beach Housing Development Company; Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association; and the Arts Council for Long Beach. The camping trip was made possible by The Pythian Youth Foundation and local businesses.